Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings by Liz Ireland
The author has done a fantastic job at creating characters that sound too silly to be true, but in the realm of the North Pole it is possible. April is spending her first Christmas as Mrs. Claus in the North Pole and the mystery of how the last Santa died looms over the town as two murders happen and accusations of the current Santa (or his wife) being the murderer). The story has its silly moments and some over the top Christmas moments. The great thing about this murder mystery is that the author mixes silly with serious and keeps the reader engaged. The murderer is a bit of a twist, but looking back there was one clue that really gave it away if the reader was paying careful enough attention (honestly, I wasn’t until the end when the killer was revealed and it was a yes, that was mentioned). Almost every character that was mentioned is listed below, because the names are incredibly smile worthy (most even worth a giggle). Also, it may come in handy for book 2 and 3 (which will be reviews on these will be posted shortly).
Character List/Book Summary:
April Claus – married Nick after knowing him 3 months. Runs an Inn in Oregon and hopes to go back and work there during the summer months. Starts to wonder why Nick is not caring about the rumors that he killed his older brother and wonders who killed the elf and snowman. Starts to investigate after Tiffany spooks her. Does not like how Nick’s ex-girlfriend keeps making a scene.
Nick Claus – went to Oregon after his brother died and met April. Is not in bed the night of the murder. Tells April to stop investigating and not to look in to what happened to his brother.
Giblet Hollyberry – an elf who said that Nick was a murderer the day before he died by a spider bite. Not a well loved elf.
Constable Crinkle – head of the Christmastown police, April does not have a ton of confidence in him
Jingles – April and Nick’s steward, helps April with her investigation. April is not entirely sure he is trustworthy and Lucia has warned April to be careful putting her trust in him.
Waldo – Jingles’ assistant
Pamela – Nick’s mother, dowager Mrs. Claus. Runs the castle and is judgmental of April. Asks April to help with her special treat and is disappointed when there is an accident and April tries to fix it by herself. Possibly realizes who the murderer is too.
Christopher – Nick’s nephew and will become Santa when he comes of age. His mother is over protective.
Tiffany – Christopher’s mother, wears black to show she is still grieving her husband, Chris. Warns April to be careful and that it is dangerous to be in the castle.
Martin – Nick’s younger brother, did not go on the hunt that killed his eldest brother, Chris. Starts to flirt with Juniper. Manages the candy cane factory.
Lucia – Nick’s older sister, protective of her reindeer and all her animals. Is not happy that April used Quasar to go into town and that he was bullied.
Quasar – a misfit reindeer who Lucia has taken into the castle as her pet.
Doc Honeytree – will review Giblet’s body and determine if he died of natural causes or was killed.
Noggin – Giblet’s cousin who feels a Claus killed his cousin and the accuses the police of covering up evidence
Ollie – deputy, April does not have confidence in the police with Olly and the Constable
Luther Partridge – conductor of Christmastown Concert Band
Claire – April’s best friend in Oregon
Smudge – principal percussionist, had dated Juniper
Juniper – Christmastown Liberian, friend to April has a huge crush on Martin.
Therese Jollyfriend – had one date with Nick before he married April and starts rumors that April stole Nick and broke them up on purpose. Tells Jake Frost that April killed Giblet. Tries to start a rumor that Santa is cheating on April with her, when that does not work she attacks April in the castle. Is sent away to help her deal with her issues.
Jake Frost – detective that is brought in by the Hollyberry family. Follows April, after listening to Therese and quickly realizes she is not the murderer. April agrees to help share some of her information and Jake helps April when the murderer is confronted.
Punch – sculptor who beat Giblet. Warned Giblet that his idea for the ice sculpture was not a good idea.
Starla Winters – Giblet beat her out for a manager position 2 years ago. Tells April about the sexism that happens at Wrapping Works.
Amory Claus – Nick’s cousin, his parents died in an avalanche that he was dug out of. Grew up with Lucia, Chris, Nick, and Martin. Disliked Nick’s mandate that all Claus family members work and that he was assigned to the plumbing factory.
Midge – Amory’s wife, tells April how Amory went on the hunt with Nick and Chris and that he oversold the “accident” when the group got back.
Salty – gardener at the castle
Boots Bayleaf – born in the Reaches, leads all the hunts. Tells April he never saw the snow monster that the group was hunting when Nick died. Boots gives Nick an alibi and that Nick swore everyone to secrecy about the hunt. Boots question if there was a snow leopard that Nick went back to “hunt” and forced Amory to go with him.